The LG Neon has a full QWERTY keyboard, a touch screen phone dialer, and basic features that should satisfy the not-so-demanding mobile phone user. The phone is the predecessor to the LG Xenon, the first messaging phone from LG for AT&T in the United States.
Design (4 out of 5)
The LG Neon is quite attractive with smooth, rounded corners and clean lines. Its length measures 4 inches, width is 2 inches, and it is 0.66 inches thick. It won’t feel heavy in the pockets with its weight of merely 3.8 ounces. Users will find its sliding mechanism sturdy and smooth. The glossy black front of the Neon features a nice 2.4 inch display which supports 262,000 colors at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. The phone will not disappoint in terms of displaying images and text. Users also have the option of adjusting backlight time, font size, brightness, dialing digits, as well as the menu styles and clock appearance on the main menu screen. On the left side of the unit is a volume toggle and camera key, while on the right spine are its slot for microSD card and headset and charger jack. On the back are the self portrait mirror and camera lens. The LG Neon is available in three colors: pink, blue and lime.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
Somehow unique is the Neon’s touch screen display for its phone dialer application. When the phone dialer key is pressed on the navigation array, a virtual numeric keypad shows up. Users can dial another party’s phone number by tapping the digits on the virtual keypad. But since the virtual numeric keypad is only for dialing phone numbers, users have to access other functions through the physical keys - something which is undoubtedly a disappointment for most users.
Beneath the main display is the main navigational array consisting of a couple of soft keys, a four-way toggle, the Send and Power key, and the Clear key joining the above mentioned phone dialer key. When the phone is turned 90 degrees to the right and slid up, the full QWERTY keyboard appears. The unit then automatically alters its orientation to landscape mode.
Features (3 out of 5)
The Neon boasts of an address book that can store 1,000 contact entries. Each entry can be customized with the assignment of email address, a maximum of four contact numbers, a memo, and even an anniversary reminder. Entries can also be assigned with photos, ringtones, and caller groups. The phone also has the standard features such as speaker phone, vibration mode, MMS and text messaging, unit converter, clock, and calculator. A unique feature is the Answer Tones wherein callers will hear a song recording when calling.
Other more sophisticated features of the phone include instant messaging, wireless Web browser, mobile email for AOL, Yahoo, Windows Live Hotmail, and AIM, and stereo Bluetooth. There is also a simple music player supporting various music formats. The LG Neon comes with an internal memory of 14MB and can support a maximum 4GB through microSD cards. The Neon also has a 2 megapixel camera capable of shooting in four photo resolutions, with provisions for different color effects, white balance effects and quality settings.
The LG Neon can be personalized by changing its wallpaper, alert tones, and themes. It is also incorporated with a mobile banking application and popular games like Bubble Bash and Ms. Pac-Man.
Performance (3 out of 5)
The phone delivers well in terms of voice quality during voice calls. Calls made using the phone are clear with little static or interference. Calls made using the speakerphone, however, were not as clear with voices having an echo effect. The music quality played over the speakers was also sub-par, and audiophiles may have to use a stereo headset when listening to their favorite tracks.
The camera is also poor, so users should not expect much from it. Images taken using the camera are not sharp, especially in low light. The web browser is also slow. The phone has a battery life lasting for around three hours of talk time, and a standby time of 10 days.
Verdict (3 out of 5)
The LG Neon is not exactly the best mobile phone out there with limited features, particularly skimping on its multimedia functions. The virtual numeric keypad is also a disappointment. However, you have to consider the low price point. For those wanting a simple, yet stylish phone, the Neon is basically a good deal.